Covington’s Lexie Long goes for a rebound. Tri-Village defeated visiting Covington 57-55 in a girls high school basketball game at New Madison on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Girls Basketball: Area powers earn No. 1 seeds

Seven area teams were voted the No. 1 seeds during Sunday’s draw meetings for the upcoming girls high school basketball sectional tournaments: Wayne (Division I), Alter (D-II), Carroll (D-II), West Liberty-Salem (D-III), Tri-Village (D-IV), Cedarville (D-IV) and Jackson Center (D-IV).

The sectional is the first phase of the postseason and begins for the girls on Feb. 13. Sectional winners advance to district finals, then regional semifinals and conclude with state final fours. Online voting by coaches determined the seedings, which were revealed at various sites Sunday.

Most of those teams are state ranked and have been among the area’s best all season. Top-seeded teams have first choice in positioning themselves on multiple brackets. Second- and third-seeded teams usually opt for brackets away from the No. 1 seeds.

That’s how most of the four divisions were determined except for the D-IV sectional at Brookville. Second-seeded Covington (16-5) passed. Randy Duff, coach of third-seeded Miami Valley (15-3), positioned the Rams in the upper bracket. Covington coach Jim Meyer immediately positioned the Buccaneers against Miami Valley.

That resulted in a rare No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed in an opening-round game. The winner will play Twin Valley South (4-15), which had a bye and could do no better than a No. 11 seed.

Tri-Village (19-0) is the No. 1 seed in D-IV. Covington lost 57-55 at Tri-Village in regular-season Cross County Conference play.

The boys basketball seed meetings are next Sunday. Their postseason starts one week after the girls.

D-I: Wayne (15-4) secured its No. 1 seed with a 54-50 win at No. 2 seed Springboro last month. The only oddity was Central Buckeye Conference power Tecumseh (19-2), which could do no better than a No. 4 seed and is positioned in the Dayton 3 sectional at Vandalia-Butler. Beavercreek (13-6) was seeded No. 3.

RELATED: No easy road for Tecumseh in sectional

The challenge for area D-I teams is to get past Greater Miami Conference powers and Cincinnati sectional top seeds Lakota West (18-2) and Mason (17-3) in district finals.

D-II: Alter (18-2) is the two-time defending state champ and completed a regular-season sweep of Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rival Carroll on Saturday, 32-31 . Alter has beaten Mason and lost to Lakota West.

Carroll and second-seeded Tippecanoe (17-3) fled to the Tecumseh sectional away from Alter, which is at Lebanon.

D-III: WL-Salem (18-1) has ruled the Ohio Heritage Conference and is in the Franklin Monroe 1 sectional. The Tigers’ only loss was 52-45 at Tippecanoe. Versailles (16-3) was awarded the No. 2 seed and positioned itself in the Franklin Monroe 3 bracket. Versailles, out of the Midwest Athletic Conference, hosts Tri-Village on Monday in a regular-season showdown.

D-IV: Cedarville (17-3), also of the OHC, is in the Monroe bracket. The Sidney bracket is loaded with Shelby County League teams. Jackson Center (15-3) is top seeded, followed in order by SCL rivals and 2-4 seeds Russia (16-5), Fort Loramie (13-6) and Botkins (14-6).

Tia Karras of Miami Valley needs 11 points against visiting Xenia Legacy Christian on Monday to become the Rams’ all-time leading scorer. Angela Bethel currently holds the record at 1,568 points.

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